Holiday Gift Knitting: Inspiration Needed!

Pale Skies Cowl by Sarah Barbour
Leaf Cravat by Teva Durham
Diamond Seed Baby Jacket by Erica Alexander
Aegean Mitts by Amy Polcyn
Koolhaas Hat by Jared Flood

Last week I Tweeted that I'm still in the planning stages of my holiday knitting. And judging from the replies, I have a lot of company!

Yes, it's already the second week of November and a lot of us haven't started knitting gifts in earnest. I've dabbled with a couple of spa cloths for some soap-and-washcloth sets, but I have nothing of note to show for myself, and I have a bunch of things to knit up for the Great Grab Bag Event of 2010 (I'm starting a grab-bag tradition for my knitted gifts).

I decided a big dose of inspiration was in order, so I dipped into the Interweave Pattern Store and found just what I needed.

Here are the results of my browsing session!

Pale Skies Cowl by Sarah Barbour

I'm a big fan of cowls, and this one is sort of a super cowl. It can be worn as a scarf or a cowl; the buttons add a lot of versatility. The cables are bold and add so much texture. Plus, the Pale Skies is stunning—and to sweeten the pot even more, I have the project yarn in my stash!

Sarah used Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino to design this cowl, which is so soft you could just bundle it up into a pillow and sleep with it every night. My stash yarn is the light blue color, too, so I can make the exact version shown. Hoorah.

I hope I can work up the courage to make it part of the grab bag and not keep it for myself.

Leaf Cravat by Teva Durham
I love this little scarf. It's been around for about eight years, both in the Interweave Store and in a page protector in my (huge) "To Knit" binder.

I think it's about time the Leaf Cravat makes the transformation from pattern to finished object, don't you?

I have a lot of yarn that would match the gauge requirements for this scarf (22 stitches over 4 inches), so it'll be fun to look through my stash to see if I can match up a yarn I have with the pattern. I think I need something smooth and single-color.

And it has to be green, right? (I guess it could be red, orange, or yellow, too, but I'm leaning toward green.)

Diamond Seed Baby Jacket by Erica Alexander
This one won't go into my grab bag, but I couldn't resist including it in this post. If you need a baby gift for the holidays like I do, this is it!

There's something so "yesteryear" about this design, which really appeals to me. It's simple and classic—I just love that in a baby sweater. I gravitate more to plain baby clothes than to those with words and characters on them, so the Diamond Seed is just the ticket.

This is a simple, beautiful, and wearable baby jacket that is likely to end up in someone's hope chest. Just what I want for the special little one on my list.

Aegean Mitts by Amy Polcyn
I love fingerless mitts. They're perfect for warmer climates in the winter because they allow your fingers to breathe while keeping your hands cozy when there's a chill in the air, and they're crucial in cold climates (like mine) to put on when it's a bit chilly inside and you need to finish writing Knitting Daily.

I just got out a pair I knitted last year and put them in my office because it's a little drafty. I'm thinking I might keep them in my knitting bag, though, because the coffee shop where my knitting group meets is a little drafty, too!

The Aegean Mitts are just perfect for my grab bag knitting, too. I know any of the "grabbers" would be happy with them; I might just knit two pairs to put in the bag.

I think these would work for both men and women. Color can make such a big difference in this respect. I've seen scarves that I thought were designed for women, which when knit up in dark colors or a heather gray or brown and they looked very masculine.

Cables are unisex, I think—after all, why are those wonderful Aran sweaters are so often called fisherman's sweaters? 

Oh, one more thing about this pattern—it's a great one-skein project for that ball of luxury yarn sitting in your stash. The pattern calls for Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere 6-Ply, which is YUMMY. I have one skein of this in my stash, so I guess there will be one lucky person and one REALLY lucky person if I make two pairs! (Although I'm sure I can come up with another skein of some fab yarn so there are no tug-o-wars under the Christmas tree.)

And word on the street is that you can knit these in one evening. Here's hoping!

Koolhaas Hat by Jared Flood

This is one of my all-time favorite hats. I love it for several reasons. One is because I lived in Seattle for 20 years and the architect Rem Koolhaas designed the fabulous downtown library there, which is what inspired Jared to design his hat.

A second reason is that I've seen this hat on many, many people (male and female), and it looks great on everyone.

A third reason is that it's a really fun knit! It's one of those addictive designs; you want to keep going to see the next diamond pattern appear! A good thing when knitting under a bit of pressure, yes? (Being in publishing for my entire career, I get everything done faster and better when I have a deadline.)

I think I'll knit two of these hats, too, for the grab bag. It's really such a neat piece, and so fashion-forward.

So, I have my knitting list in hand now. Phew!

I can't wait to cast on these projects. I have to exercise some self-discipline, though so I don't cast them all on on the same night.

I think these four patterns are perfect for any knitter and "giftee," (and they're all on sale for the next 48 hours!) but if none of these strikes your fancy, check out the Interweave Pattern Store; there's lots of stuff on sale!

I promise you'll find something you think someone on your list can't live without.


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